What Can I Do With a Major In Religious Studies?

Katy Hinz WCIDWAMIConnect with:
Katy Hinz

Career Counselor
katyh@umn.edu
katyh.appointments.umn.edu
612-624-7577

Major Information

Are you curious about people, societies, and cultures? Are you interested in the ideas and values that inspire and motivate people? Are you concerned about ideologies that inhibit progress or even spur people to violence? Religious studies majors and minors explore all of these questions using academic tools of data gathering and analysis. As a religious studies student you will gain knowledge about diverse people around the globe, develop skills in thinking about the relationships between religion and society, and hone your capacity for and confidence in engaging with topics related to religion in on-the-ground political, civic, or personal situations. Religious studies majors and minors bring these capacities to the job market and their careers. Their unique skills in cross-cultural communication prove vital in many career fields, from education to law, non-profit and NGO work, business, governmental and diplomatic service, journalism and publishing, and many others.

The Religious Studies major is offered through the College of Liberal Arts. For additional information, see the U of M's Religious Studies site.

All liberal arts degrees help CLA students develop their Core Career Competencies, and religious studies majors develop specific skills that are applicable to lots of different careers. These skills include:

  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong cultural knowledge and understanding of world religions
  • Ability to formulate clear and persuasive messages
  • Listening, clarifying, questioning and responding skills
  • Ability to work well with diverse groups  

Interest code: SAI

Internship & Job Search Websites

Professional Organizations

Graduate Programs in Religious Studies & Related Fields

  • MA, Near Eastern and Judaic Studies
  • MA, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Harvard University
  • PhD, Anthropology, Texas A&M University

Career Options

Below is a small sampling of what alumni with this major have pursued, organized by the most common career fields they go into (although keep in mind that there are Religious Studies alumni in all eight of the career fields).  For more career information for Religious Studies majors, utilize these additional resources:

  • What Can I Do With This Major - Find information about common career paths, employers, and strategies for how to build experience in different career fields
  • LinkedIn's Alumni Tool - Explore thousands of alumni career pathways
  • GoldPASS - Explore different job, internship, and volunteer opportunities as well as career events on campus

Note: *Asterisks denote that further education and/or training is often required

Nonprofit, Human Services, & Social Justice

Internships

  • Research Assistant, Transitional Justice Project
  • Women's Program Intern, The Advocates for Human Rights
  • RISE Fellow, New Sector Alliance
  • Museum Studies Intern, Mystic Seaport

Entry-Level

  • Community Organizer, Minnesotans United for All Families
  • Urban Gardens Youth Employment Leader, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
  • Team Leader, Feed My Starving Children
  • YSE Program Coordinator, Sundance Family Foundation
  • Site Lead and Youth Coordinator, YMCA
  • High School Pastor, Woodridge Church
  • Director of Jr./Sr. High Ministry, Dell Lutheran Church
  • Ministry Associate, Green Lake Lutheran Ministries
  • Community Organizer, OutFront Minnesota

Experienced

  • Executive Director, Humane Society of Goodhue County
  • Director, Elkhart County Historical Museum
  • Managing Director, Horse Trade Theater
  • Volunteer Programs Manager, Lifelong AIDS Alliance
  • Pastor, Mercy Hill Church*
  • Vice-Chair, Youth Minister's Network
  • Connections Coordinator, River Valley Church
  • Community Capacity Builder, Spirit of Hope

Graduate Programs

  • MA, Non-Profit/Public/Organizational Management, Hamline University
  • MDiv, Bethel Seminary, St. Paul
Education

Internships

  • Fellowship Coordinator, University of Minnesota Human Rights Center
  • Student Lead, Classroom Support, CLA Language Center, University of Minnesota
  • History Fellow, Minnesota Historical Society
  • English Tutor, Say Yes to Education
  • Adult English Language Tutor, Cedar Riverside Adult Education Collaborative
  • Peer Adviser, Learning Abroad Center - University of Minnesota

Entry-Level

  • Teacher/Youth Worker, Centro Arte Para La Paz (El Salvador)
  • Site Director, YouthWorks
  • Admissions Coordinator - Europe & Middle East Programs, CET Academic Programs
  • Staff Assistant - Public Policy, NAFSA: Association of International Educators
  • Academic Center Coordinator, Make It Happen Program - Portland Public Schools
  • MySuccess Program Coach, Southern Maine Community College
  • Spiritual Education Teacher, Unitarian Universalist Society of River Falls
  • College Coach, College Possible
  • Special Education Paraprofessional and Summer Garden Teacher, Edina Public Schools
  • Preschool Assistant, Hope Evangelical Free Church
  • Secondary Teacher, The Marshall School
  • Information Officer/Language Instructor, Community Services Association Maadi/Cairo Egypt
  • English Language Instructor, Riyadh Schools, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Director and Founder, Rampage Ministries

Experienced

  • Enrollment Services Specialist - Division of Continuing Education, Harvard University
  • Program Director, ArtReach
  • Special Education Teacher, Upper Mississippi Academy*
  • Substitute Teacher, Edina Public Schools
  • Garden Teacher, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
  • Upper Elementary Teacher, Great River School*
  • Director of Educational Experiences, The College of St. Scholastica*
  • ESL Site Coordinator/Instructor, Adult Basic Education/ESL*
  • Operations Associate, Wallin Education Partners

Graduate Programs

  • MA, Teaching, Hamline University
  • MA, TESL, ESL Instructor, St. Cloud State University
Business, Consulting, Marketing & Sales

Entry-Level

  • Researcher, HomeLine
  • Researcher, Baha'i International Community
  • Production Operations Intern, Retail Solutions, Inc.
  • Academic Quality Controller, International School of Choueifat
  • Academic Analyst, SABIS Educational Systems, Inc.
  • Assistant Community Manager, Pioneer Endicott Apartments

Experienced

  • Senior Consultant, Baha'i National Center
  • Associate Developer, Magenic
  • Project Manager & Continuous Improvement Coordinator, Carlson School of Management - University of Minnesota
  • Project/Business Manager, Dark House Design, LLC
  • Consultant, Digineer - Express Scripts Int'l
  • Vice President & General Manager, Reliant Security*
  • Branch Manager, McRoberts Protective Agency, Inc.
  • Information Security Analyst, AppSec Consulting*

Graduate Programs

  • Certificate in Project Management, University of Minnesota CCE
  • MA, Business Administration & IT Management, University of Massachusetts Boston
Government, Law, Public Policy, & International Affairs

Internships

  • Recreation Leader and Recreation & Program Coordinator, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
  • Hennepin County Courts Intern, Hennepin County
  • Student Intern, United States Department of State
  • Legal Intern, Fredrikson & Byron
  • Legislative Intern, Minnesota State Senate
  • Campaign Intern, Paul Meunier for State Senate
  • Office Administrator, Minnesota Law Review

Experienced

  • Education Fellow, Office of Senator Al Franken, United States Senate
  • Public Policy Manager, NAFSA: Association of International Educators
  • Assistant Director for International Issues, Congressional & Governmental Affairs, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU)

Graduate Programs

  • JD, Mitchell Hamline School of Law
Advertising, Public Relations, Journalism, & Communications

Internships

  • Communications Intern, Wooddale Church
  • Editorial Intern, The Globalist

Entry-Level

  • Volunteer Coordinator & Graphic Designer, Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities

Experienced

  • Associate Developer, Minnesota Public Radio

Graduate Programs

  • Graphic Design Program, Minneapolis Community & Technical College
Technology, Data & Analytics

Entry-Level

  • Senior Technology Analyst, HB Fuller
  • Associate Computer Support Specialist, University of Minnesota
  • Workstation Support Consultant, University of Minnesota

Experienced

  • Operations Processor 3, Randstad Technologies US
  • Application Support Specialist Team Lead, Orion Health
  • IT Services Coordinator, Good Start Genetics

*Further education and/or training is often required